Former DPOY had no expectations for Doncic coming from Europe. But unlike many of his peers, he also didn’t doubt Luka’s ability to make a seamless transition into the NBA. Metta simply didn’t see enough of Doncic to form any sort of opinion about the guy. However, 25 games into his third year in the association, his stance on a 21-year-old Slovenian is clear.
He’s definitely one of the smartest players I’ve seen.Metta World Peace, 1-ON-1 with Basketball Network
One of the best wingman defenders in recent NBA history even envisioned guarding Luka Doncic, the same way he does with every other elite offensive player he didn’t have the chance to go up against. World Peace admitted — containing the Mavs superstar would’ve been tough even at the peak of his powers.
When I was thinking about how I would guard him when I was in my prime, I was thinking about it and it would have been really difficult, because of his release and his patience, and he got a big body, and he can score with not a lot of space.Metta World Peace, 1-ON-1 with Basketball Network
World Peace went up against one of the biggest killers the NBA has ever seen. He was matched up against Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, LeBron James. As he discovered during 1-ON-1 with Basketball Network, going into those matchups, Metta always believed “his defense was better than other’s offense,” no matter who he was up against.
But with Luka, World Peace is hesitant to declare himself a winner of their hypothetical matchup. That alone, coming from one of the greatest perimeter defenders ever, says enough about how talented of a player Doncic really is. If World Peace thinks he would have a tough time guarding him, not many players in the NBA will be able to do it.